Tuesday, January 15, 2008

mental health

"i have a theory about this place. no matter who you are when you enter the doors, nurse or patient, i'm pretty sure we all leave crazy." -one of my patients of the day

today was my first actual day at my mental health clinical site. i wasn't too nervous until i actually got on the floor.
apparently because of a miscommunication, we weren't allowed to be in
a group of 5, so i was separated from jodi, and placed in a group with two other classmates, which ended up working out well. the second floor i was placed on seemed to be more structured, but i think that was because of the types of people on the
floor (more volatile). today was quite interesting. i never knew
murderers and sexual predators could be so nice. =) seriously
though-after hearing about all the crimes that had been committed by
the patients i saw today, it was hard to match the crimes with the
people that were right in front of me. i don't think i've ever
experienced anything quite like it. it may sound scary but i feel like i know how to establish my boundaries well and i'm never alone with any patients. i always have a nurse or classmate
with me.

i think what feels the most weird is not to have an agenda or checklist of things to
accomplish. time on the med-surg floor goes at a much faster pace. when i look back at my day, besides meeting the staff, all i really did was talk to people and play the game sorry today.

i also got a good look at my own assumptions and ideas, even though i felt as though i came today free of them. some of my patients were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. something as simple as a car accident, a head injury, not having the mental capacity to have the judgment to pick good friends-these truly gave me compassion for these people. even the ones who have done horrible crimes often seem to have been abused themselves. abuse shouldn't be an excuse to abuse others, but as the staff said, these people are truly sick. their bodies may appear fine, but their minds are ill.

flat pieces of paper are easier to fear or even hate than real people. when talking with patients i knew that i could be talking to a murderer, but at the same time, i was talking to a person-an unwell person.

it feels like a strange gift-one that i don't think i would have ever asked for or even wanted. but here it is...

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